Denton County health officials on Thursday announced the eighth and ninth county fatalities resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, both from Lewisville.
“Today, we are saddened to report the loss of two lives in Denton County to COVID-19,” Denton County Judge Andy Eads said in a news release. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of these two individuals and to all who have suffered loss during this pandemic.”
The eighth death resulting from complications of the virus is a Lewisville woman in her 50s, while the ninth related death is a Lewisville man in his 70s, both of whom contracted the virus through local transmission.
Thursday’s deaths mark the first multi-death day in the county since the first COVID-19 death was reported on March 26.
“This terrible news underscores the significance of the stay-at-home mandate and the importance of practicing social distancing on all outings,” Eads said. “We must work together to flatten the curve.”
Meanwhile, county officials announced an additional 28 cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, increasing the countywide total to 426; more than a quarter of that total, 122 cases, has been reported since Monday.
No additional cases were reported Thursday from either residents or staff members at the Denton State Supported Living Center, where the total number of cases remains at 97.
On Tuesday, the first coronavirus cases were reported at Denton Rehabilitation & Nursing, according to documents obtained by the Denton Record-Chronicle. The Denton-based facility confirmed in an email that one employee and “a few” residents have tested positive for the virus. Troy Johnson, administrator of DRN, had not responded to inquiries by late Thursday.
A growing number of statewide coronavirus cases have been reported at nursing home facilities. At least 320 residents and staff members have tested positive, while at least 18 people have died, as of Wednesday; however, the extent of the outbreak is likely underrepresented as comprehensive data on facility-wide cases is not being disclosed, The Texas Tribune reported.
On April 3, the first death and publicly identified case emanating from a nursing home was reported in Denton County at a facility in Lewisville. Two days later, a second death and case was reported to emanate from a separate Lewisville facility on April 5.
Emerging cases at DRN are reported to emanate from separate resident halls of the facility; however, only one resident that tested positive is housed in a different hall, while an undisclosed number of cases are concentrated in another hall.
Residents who tested positive were transported to an undisclosed hospital upon showing signs or symptoms, while facility-wide, residents have been instructed to stay in their rooms. Meanwhile, an undisclosed number of residents are being asked to self-isolate in their rooms on infected hallways, as staff from non-infected areas of the facility have been restricted access.
The residents who tested positive were reported to be in the hospital on Tuesday.
The employee who tested positive was reported to be in home isolation.
The facility is coordinating with the Denton County Health Department and is receiving input from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
Denton County towns and cities with additional case counts on Thursday include The Colony (2), Corinth (1), Dallas (5), Denton (6), Flower Mound (1), Fort Worth (1), Frisco (3), Hickory Creek (1), Highland Village (1), Krum (1), Lewisville (3), Providence Village (1) and unincorporated Denton County (1). As well, the city of Celina confirmed its first case of the novel coronavirus on Thursday.
A total of 335 individuals are in home isolation, while 90 have been hospitalized, and one case is pending investigation. A total of 131 individuals have recovered from the virus, while the total number of active cases is 286.
COVID-19 symptoms include a fever, persistent cough and shortness of breath. Public health officials are urging individuals to call ahead before arriving at an emergency room or doctor’s office to limit community spread of the virus.
RYAN HIGGS can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @ryanahiggs.